• Sarah


There are plenty of alternatives to the high-polluting methods of transport such as planes, cars and cruise ships, and although they may take longer, the journey itself can become part of the adventure.

A man walking on a path through a forest.

Which is the most polluting way to travel?

Planes, cars and large cruise ships are the most polluting methods of transport available.

Planes are said to cause about 10,000 deaths a year from air pollution, and that number is only set to increase, with an estimated 50,000 planes in service by 2040 (its currently around 20,000). It is possible to 'offset' the damage done by buying carbon footprint offsets, but it would be far better to just not fly in the first place.

Cruise ships are horrendous polluters and reek huge damage everywhere they go. Just one cruise ship provider, Carnival, emitted ten times more sulphur oxide around the ports of Europe than every single car in Europe generated in the same year in 2017. While people focus on the damage caused by planes and cars, cruise ships who burn the filthiest fuel of them all, seem to get a free pass. Noxious chemicals aside, they also cause huge damage to aquatic life, generate tonnes of waste, and can cause mayhem in the cities they visit. They may move slowly, but they are the total antithesis of what slow travel represents.

Cars are well known for their polluting qualities, although some advancement is finally being made with clean fuels and electric cars. They cause direct pollution at ground level when they sit in queues with exhausts pumping out fumes over the pedestrians and cyclists just feet away, they clog up towns, cause huge swathes of countryside